A word on hosting

To do or not to do: the cash bar version. I am not a fan of the cash bar. At both of my weddings (I know), it was very important to me that people enjoy themselves without having to pull out cash. When you invite folks to your wedding, you are often asking that they travel – meaning plane fare or gas money, as well as a hotel — that they wear fancy clothes and, perhaps, that take time off from work. They also frequently buy you a gift. That’s a lot. To ask them then to pay for their beer seems like too much to me. I wouldn’t ask them to pay for a drink at a barbecue in my backyard, how could I do so at my wedding? Now then, I acknowledge that not every one (a) sees things this way and/or (b) has the luxury of doing things this way. I will not argue that if you can afford to throw a wedding at all, you can afford to provide your guests with booze, but instead offer my thoughts on ways to manage your liquor bill reasonably. I have been to many a wedding where wine and beer is free, but cocktails cost some change. I have been to a wedding where the bride and groom have chosen a fun specialty cocktail to offer, as well as wine and beer. I think these are very reasonable ways to deal with alcohol expenses. I have been to the Miller Lite only wedding, which I think is really stretching things on the tack-factor scale. The worst, though, was the wedding I attended at a super out-of-the-way resort with a two-night minimum stay where, post-dinner, the bride & groom provided guests one barrel of beer and once that was empty, everyone was on their own.

But I guess that really isn’t the worst. The worst it seems is the latest (and only the second I think) Bachelorette wedding. Ashley Hebert & JP Rosenbaum wed December 1 in Pasadena. The big event was filmed and will air this week on ABC. Apparently, ABC paid for the event, but after production stopped, the bar went from free to cash. And, this being Pasadena, cocktails were in the $16 range. Holy tack-asaurus. Now, perhaps it was just bad planning, but if you’re going to get an essentially free wedding, the least you could do is pay for the booze. I do not recommend this approach.

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8 Responses to “A word on hosting”


  1. 1 gwendolyngarden December 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I think you are right…although a miller lite only wedding might work for me.

    I love specialty cocktails, and my next wedding will definitely have at least that. I have to say the easiest easy to manage costs is to invite less people… But i guess that’s easy for me to say, having already had my big/Wisconsin-small first wedding.

    Mmm…cocktails anyone?

  2. 2 gwendolyngarden December 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Btw, that’s “easiest way”, not “easiest easy.” Stupid phone.

  3. 3 Sara H December 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Agree totally Kate – although I thought hard about whether to charge for liquor-related drinks at our wedding just because I worried about excessive alcohol intake (some friends on Russ’ side and some family on mine) and related drama. I viewed asking folks to pay as a way to get people to stick with wine and beer. But clearly, the Bachelorette is kind of being cheap. 🙂 I like the signature cocktail idea a lot.

  4. 4 kateandgracie December 10, 2012 at 9:26 am

    That’s a really good point, Sara. With worries about drunken craziness, I can see why sticking to wine & beer would make sense. I think then, though, that it’d be best not to even offer cocktails for sale — get the bottles outta there. No wallets at the wedding.

    That said, and while I’ve never done it myself, I think that dollar dance tradition is kinda cute.

  5. 5 Tammy December 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Kate – I sure hope Terry is looking at this and goes with your theory – free drinks at Maggie’s wedding!!

  6. 6 kateandgracie December 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Hee hee. I had thought of that! I’m sure Terry would never entertain the idea of a cash bar!

  7. 7 Terry December 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Well, clearly, we will have to do two things for Maggie’s and Bryan’s wedding: 1) scratch the plans for coverage by cheapskate ABC and; 2) institute a $10 dollar dance…that repeats on the half hour. That should cover Cuvee’s bar bill. Thanks for these tips!

  8. 8 kateandgracie December 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    May I suggest Bravo? I think they’d host a very classy wedding.


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